Background The client is a listed public company that provides a broad and diverse range of products and services to the construction and mining industries.   The company has delivered below average industry returns for many years and overall group performance was declining.   The company had become ‘fat’. There was a culture of entitlement […]


Over my many years of working with clients in the area of strategy development and business planning, I am frequently asked which approach to business planning is better, top down or bottom up? My response is that there are pros and cons to each and that they are not mutually exclusive.   Bottom up business […]


The answer is that it depends upon the context. The adoption curve (see below) can provide some insights.   When a new product or service is launched into the market, the organisation’s main focus is to capitalise on any first mover advantages and achieve critical mass quickly. If the product or service is unique there […]


Many executives and small business owners that I have worked with do not believe in business planning. Several do not know where to begin or how to write a business plan. Others either hire professional facilitators to assist with them with their strategic planning or develop their business strategy using strategic planning templates.   When […]


It is the start of February. A new year is in full swing. It is the perfect time to sit down and set your strategic vision for 2015. Map out the pathway for the year ahead. Set goals and get inspired that this is THE year that you and your team are going to make […]


In his book, Competitive Strategy, Michael Porter describes two generic strategies – differentiation and cost leadership. He shows diagrammatically that return on investment (under each of these strategies can be optimized).   He explains that, under a differentiated strategy, the organization focuses on creating a point of difference in its service offering to an homogeneous […]


Success breeds success. In a growing and buoyant market, business tends to come to you and profits tend to be solid and growing. Ultimately, success can breed failure. When organizations enjoy solid growth in vibrant markets, over time the company tends to become complacent. It stops listening to its customers and the market. It gets […]


Organizations that have high levels of fixed costs , can capitalize on the concept called operating leverage. The higher the fixed cost, the greater the potential for operating leverage. Wikipedia defines Operating Leverage as a measure of how revenue growth translates into growth in operating income, a measure of leverage,  and of how risky (volatile) […]


One of the ways in which management can boost the profits of their business, is to ensure that their strategy leverages key elements of the business model.   Identifying Profit Multipliers   The first step is to undertake sensitivity analysis of the Income Statement to identify potential profit multipliers. There are cost-effective software packages that […]


In this series of articles, we explore ten ways in which to boost your profits. The selection on which Profit Boosters[1] will most leverage your bottom line is a function of: Your business model; Where your business sits on the industry growth (evolution) curve; and The dynamics in your current operating environment   The first […]


Every business irrespective of size should have a business plan. Why, you may ask? Because a business plan is like a GPS (global positioning satellite). It shows: a. the current position on a map (current state), b. the ultimate destination (desired state), c. the route (how management intend getting there), d. the estimated time it […]


This is a video featuring Ivan Nurick talking to ING on their ME program about Thinking Strategically. By consistently applying 3 universal principles, Ivan asserts that any organisation can leverage its results. Check out the Strategic FIT Program in the store for more information Ivan Nurick talks to ING on Thinking Strategically from Strategy Workshop […]


Most industries in developed economies can be classified as mature. This means that market growth is slow, maybe even approaching that of the national GDP or population growth. Rivalry is intense, as many players compete for less and less business. Demand is led by customers, who are very discerning and knowledgeable. Trading conditions are more volatile than ever before, making it difficult to predict how the future will unfold. In this article, we explore 10 steps that you can easily implement to increase customer aquisition, retention and loyalty


Here is my analysis of the most common issues I have encountered with regards to DEVELOPING STRATEGY


Environmental scanning is a method of surveying the broader macro environment so as to detect early warning signals or trends.
Most of the companies I have consulted to, exhibit little awareness of or sensitivity to events which are beyond the control of management. The extent to which these may impact the company is generally not considered. Those companies, who ritually prepare environmental scans as part of their strategy process, tend to create voluminous documents that either mean very little to anybody, or are never read. In this article, we provide a number of alternative approaches.